Things We Love: Diane Menashe’s picks

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From the June 5, 2014 edition

Three years ago, criminal defense attorney Diane Menashe joined the board of Dress for Success for Columbus. The non-profit’s throwing its biggest fundraiser, Dine, Drink, Dress, which Menashe started, next Thursday, June 12 at Strongwater. This year 17 restaurants will participate, including Harvest, Till and The Rossi. Your $75, all-inclusive ticket includes food from those restaurants, an open bar and live music. All proceeds benefit the non-profit, which promotes economic independence for women in need. We spoke with Menashe at a Downtown coffee shop this week about a few of her favorite things.

Chopped Salad at Northstar

[Northstar] opened like 10 years ago … and the Chopped Salad is the very first thing I ordered. I tweak it a little bit, get tofu instead of meat, Parmesan instead of bleu cheese, but I don’t know how many I’ve had in the last decade. I feel like [Northstar cashiers] see me coming and start preparing the order. That’s how Columbus is. It’s not just the baristas at Starbucks; it’s the cashiers at Northstar or the bartenders at Bodega. They know what your drink is, they see you and they start pouring.

Joseph P. Kinneary U.S. Courthouse

It’s one of the most beautiful buildings in the city, and you can’t take pictures there and media can’t go in there, so it’s one of the city’s best-kept secrets. I’m a criminal defense attorney, so I go in there almost every day, and there’s not a time I don’t go through those doors and think, “This is why I went to law school.” It’s regal and just gorgeous. There’s something really special about it.

My spinning shoes

They’re really biking shoes, but I have a pair I only use for spinning. It’s my favorite way to workout. I love the music, the beat, the dark, the room, the vibe, it’s intense. And hopefully I’m going to open my own studio in Columbus. I’m trying to make it happen … within the next year. It’s not going to replace law, but it’ll supplement it. I do serious cases … and [spinning is] good for a sound mind and body.

New Zealand sauv blanc

I used to be a total red wine drinker. Maybe it’s my old age. I’m entering my 40s and now I’m a white wine drinker. It happened and now there’s no turning back. If I’m at the Sycamore, they have a great pour-by-the-glass there — I love that place. If I’m home, Kim Crawford is under $20 a bottle. No matter where and when, New Zealand sauv blanc. No Chardonnay.

My friends

I’m from Seattle. Came here 16 years ago via New Orleans, where I went to law school. Didn’t know a soul, and didn’t really like it here when I first moved here. To be honest, I really didn’t like it here. I’ve lived in a lot of big cities and never felt more at home than I do here. The people are amazing, they’re fun and philanthropic and doing stuff for the community. I don’t have any family here, I’m single, and this is where I want to stay forever. And it’s a total testament to my friends. They inspire me to do more and be on a board of directors and give back to the community and do things like Dine, Drink, Dress. I’m really busy with my job, so doing an event is a lot of extra work, but I feel like that’s what our generation is doing — giving back to Columbus and starting new businesses. The city is growing, right? Everywhere you look there’s new development. I’m a total transplant. It’s generic, but it’s so true.